NFPA Journal®, November/December 2005
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Guidance on fireproofing
I recently read the article “Post Impact” in the September/October issue of NFPA Journal. The article mentions that the fireproofing system must be inspected regularly but I am not aware of any good guidance on what is acceptable. Is cracking OK? How big? How much?
There should also be more guidance and possibly testing on things such as attachments that includes pipe hangers, small supports, etc. that are installed after the fireproofing has been applied and result in parts of the fireproofing being removed. Do they need to be covered? How much? How far?
Matthew Murtha, PE
Fire Protection Engineer
UL’s Fire Council and Standards Technical Panel (STP) 263 on Fire Resistance of Building Construction and Assemblies is working on a draft of UL 2431, which will provide a means of measuring the ability of fire-resistive materials to retain their fire-resistive properties after being subjected to various conditioning environments.
When the work is completed, architects and specifiers will have a clearer understanding of which products are compliant with the intended application. Until then, manufacturers should provide sufficient evidence that the products they offer will withstand the anticipated need for long-term durability.
Point of confusion
I enjoyed your article on fire pumps in the recent issue September/October issue of the NFPA Journal. I do think this will clarify many issues with people not skilled in fire pumps and related equipment.
I did notice one point of confusion in the “Latest Devices” box (page 66). You indicate that the 2003 edition of NFPA 20 does not recognize variable speed drives. The 2003 edition does specifically recognize both variable speed diesel engine drivers and variable speed controllers for motor driven fire pumps. To wit: See Clauses 10.5.5 for electric drive fire pump controllers and 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168. for variable speed diesel drivers, and, finally, 22.214.171.124.6(5). Also see 126.96.36.199.7.3 in the test and maintenance chapter. Other references are in 3.3.45, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 10.5.5.
It is true that the committee is adding additional clauses to cover variable speed electric drive controllers for the 2006 edition. These will be quite numerous and have already cleared both the public proposal and the public comment stages.
Director of Engineering
Master Control Systems, Inc.
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Jim Nasby was a source of information for the article on fire pump maintenance.
Highlighting an important issue
I read with great interest the “Pump It Up” article in the most recent issue of NFPA Journal.
The diesel fire pump controller does not control the speed of the diesel engine, but the speed is controlled by the engine itself, either with a mechanical or electrical governor.
Also, variable speed devices, either electrical controller or diesel engines, are described in detail, but the sidebar mistakenly states that they are not recognized by NFPA 20 (2003 edition). These devices were not recognized previous to the 2003 version, but were added in 10.5.5 and 18.104.22.168.
Finally, my experience has been that variable speed controllers for electric units are considerably more than two times the price of an ATL controller.
The technology of fire pumps and their associated equipment continues to progress significantly, with improved pump designs and user-friendly controllers. Ultimately, this equipment must be tested and maintained by trained, experienced personnel to be effective as designed.
Darren Dale Mansur
Janssen Pump & Equipment
The photograph that appeared with the feature on fire pumps (September/October 2005) was for illustrative purposes only, and it was not intended to imply that the pump shown was in need of testing or maintenance.
In this Section:
Protecting health care occupancies
The choice is simple
Use of illegal drugs ignites fire
Fire sprinklers in nursing homes
Letters to the editor
Maintenance is crucial, too
‘Grand challenges’ face fire suppression
Command transfer: Proceed with caution